A Better Way To Provide Patient-Centered Prenatal Care

Published On May 17, 2016 | May/June 2016

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CommUnityCare offers Centering Pregnancy and tells why this may be a better choice for you

Jesus Kain, Project Manager, CommUnityCare

ACommUnityCare is proud to have an established Centering Pregnancy program for the past two years, and the outcomes have proven this program to be not just effective, but a great way for women to share in this experience. See below for a quick summary of just one way we are providing Patient Centered Care.

What is Centering Pregnancy?
Centering Pregnancy is a unique style of prenatal care in a group format. Its aim is to build a community that empowers women to be actively involved in their own care and equips them to make healthy choices throughout their pregnancy and beyond. Women meet for 10 two-hour sessions with a group of 10-12 other pregnant women that are due around the same time as them.

Does a woman have to be a patient of CommUnityCare to participate in Centering?
Yes, Centering Pregnancy replaces all traditional OB visits and patients must be an establish patient with a CommUnityCare provider. Patients must have had their initial OB Visit with their provider before joining a Centering group. How can a woman transfer their OB care to CommUnityCare if they would like to participate in Centering? Patients can contact the CommUnityCare OB Coordinators at 512-978-9435, they will guide them through the process of transferring care into CommUnityCare.

How often do the groups meet?
Centering groups initially meet every four weeks for the first four groups and every two weeks for the remaining six groups. Once a patient is 36 weeks they will meet with their provider in traditional one-on-one care in between groups. Will I see the same provider at every Centering group? Yes, we have dedicated providers and medical assistants for our Centering Pregnancy program. Patients will meet with the same provider and medical assistant through out all 10 sessions.

How long are the group sessions?
We have found that two hours is the average time patients spend at their doctor’s visit. Unlike traditional care, Centering Pregnancy group visits offer unhurried time with the provider. Centering providers and patients spend about 18 hours together in group visits. This is about 10 times more than with traditional individual visits. It is fun for the patients and Centering Pregnancy providers to get to know each other better. Groups are lively, interactive, and focused on issues that are important to the women.

Do women receive the same care in Centering as they would in traditional care?
Yes, patients receive the same prenatal care in Centering Pregnancy that they would get in one-on-one with their provider. The labs, prescriptions, and ultrasounds will be ordered for them as appropriate by their Centering provider. They will get the exact same care as if they were being seen in traditional care and will even benefit from an extended amount of time with their provider.

Can a woman bring her children to the groups?
To avoid distraction for all those attending, we prefer that patients not bring children to the group, if possible. Two hours is quite a long time for a child to sit quietly. Since patients are given a schedule with dates and times of all Centering Pregnancy groups, we encourage them to make child arrangements beforehand. We want patients to be able to focus on their care and allow time for themselves. We know it is not always possible to find childcare. If that is the case, we welcome children and have a child-friendly area in our Centering rooms.

Can a woman bring her partner or support person to the Centering Pregnancy groups?
Having support people come to the groups is optional. Women are free to attend with or without support. Some sessions may be of more interest for support people, like preparing for birth. Support people sit in the circle with the group and full participate in activities and discussions.
I would benefit from Centering Pregnancy but I’m shy and may be nervous about being around and sharing with strangers.

Most women who have participated in this type of care tell us how supportive and reassuring it was to connect with other women going through the same experiences of pregnancy. They will have the opportunity to get to know other mothers and perhaps develop a set of lifelong friendships. Having other women in the group gives each person the opportunity to share their own experiences. Many times, another woman asks the questions they are often wondering about but are shy to ask. Most importantly, studies have shown that women who participate in Centering Pregnancy are less likely to have their baby prematurely.

Can I try out Centering Pregnancy before committing to participate?
Absolutely, we often encourage women to come to the first session to get a feel of what Centering Pregnancy is. We often find that the majority of women who come to one session enjoy it and decide to continue throughout all sessions. New participates are welcome to a group up to session three.

What are the benefits of Centering Pregnancy?
• Better health outcomes
• Self care
• Improved self confidence
• More time with their provider
• Support and friendship
• Learning and fun

What insurance plans does CommUnityCare accept?
We accept all Chip Perinatal and Medicaid plans

Who can I contact if I have further questions about Centering Pregnancy?
CommUnityCare OB Coordinators are happy to answer any questions you may have and may be reached at 512-978-9435.

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